Charles Francis Adams, 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: “Went fishing with my son today–a day wasted.” His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: “Went fishing with my father–the most wonderful day of my life!” The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as an investment of time. The only way to tell the difference between wasting and investing is to know one’s ultimate purpose in life and to judge accordingly.
As leaders, the demands on our time can be overwhelming at times. Do you see your time with others as an investment or as an intrusion? Do you give of your time freely or see it as a nuisance? Never underestimate what your time means to those you lead. How you choose to give it will determine the quality; your attitude in doing so will determine the benefit.
Franklin Field said, “The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: I do not have time.” What a sad commentary. Leading with purpose involves time. Make it count and lead with purpose.
© 2012 Doug Dickerson
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